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09-06-2005, 08:11 AM
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Chiefs quarterback practices; Vermeil says he will play


The Kansas City Star

The Chiefs still have a few concerns as they head into the final days of preparations for Sunday’s season-opener against the Jets at Arrowhead Stadium.

They scratched one of the biggest off their list Monday when quarterback Trent Green returned to practice and gave every indication he would be at full strength against the Jets.

Team portions of practice were closed to the news media, but coach Dick Vermeil said Green took most of his usual workload.

“He looked very good,” Vermeil said. “Common sense would tell you that when you see your starting quarterback out there practicing after going through what he has gone through … it’s a relief seeing him back on the field and having fun and throwing the ball for 50-yard strikes.”

The Chiefs will issue their normal weekly injury report Wednesday. Vermeil said he didn’t know how Green would be listed but indicated it wouldn’t matter.

“He’s going to play,” Vermeil said.

Green declined an interview request after practice. But on his weekly radio spot on WHB, Green said he had no doubt he would start against the Jets.

“I feel better this week than I did a couple of weeks ago, and that’s when some of these problems were starting to ease in,” Green said. “I feel in real good shape and excited to get the season started. Unless something crazy happens … everything’s going real smooth.”

Green missed practice last week and the preseason finale against St. Louis after having a procedure to repair a tear in an artery in his left leg. The tear was causing soreness and numbness in his lower leg and foot.

“I think that’s all behind us now,” Vermeil said.

Green has started all 65 regular-season and playoff games since joining the Chiefs in 2001. He has not been so much as removed from a game because of injury.

Normally, reserve quarterbacks Todd Collins and Damon Huard would have benefited from Green’s inactivity by taking the available playing time. But both players had injuries of their own, and other than a handful of plays Green took two weeks ago against Seattle, all of the snaps in the last two preseason games went to quarterbacks no longer with the Chiefs.

Because of a fractured hand, Collins appears to be at least another week away from being ready to play. Vermeil said Collins would be the emergency third quarterback Sunday.

Collins practiced Monday but said he was limited to handoffs in the running game. He has been throwing for several days, but always off to the side and not yet in practice. His ability to even take a snap from center is limited.

“It feels better every day,” he said.

Huard returned to practice Monday after missing two games because of a concussion.

Other injury news wasn’t as positive for the Chiefs. Starting right tackle Kevin Sampson returned to practice for the first time since injuring a toe in the preseason opener. But Sampson worked with the second team behind Jordan Black and was unsure whether he could play.

“It’s not all the way there yet, but it’s getting better,” he said.

The Chiefs fear Sampson could make the injury a long-term one by doing too much too soon and were leaning toward playing Black against the Jets.

Kick-return specialist Dante Hall missed practice because of soreness in his knee. Vermeil indicated Hall would probably be ready when the Chiefs return to practice Wednesday after taking today off.

09-06-2005, 08:19 AM
Everything is looking okay. I think Black will fill in all right. The only thing that scares me is that if Green goes down, Huard is his backup. :banghead:

Kylo Ren
09-06-2005, 08:34 AM
I'm more worried about Sampson. I think he's going to be pretty good at RT. Green should be fine. Dante should be fine. But Sampson's toe injury could linger the whole season long. I'd like to see him sit out this game and maybe the next in order to come back strong for the final 14 games.